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BattLab
Newsletter 02/2018
We are pleased to welcome you to the monthly BattLab newsletter. This newsletter will bring you the latest news and information about our laboratory and all tests that we can offer to all our clients.
FROM THE LAST BATTLAB EVENING SEMINAR
 
From our whole staff, a great big thank you to all the veterinarians that this month attended the first of our series of free evening seminars we have planned for 2018. We hope you found the talk inspirational and you have learned something more about mast cell tumours in dogs.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the next seminar, which will take place on Tuesday 27th of March and will be focused on platelets and their use in regenerative medicine to treat osteoarthritis and other joint diseases in practice. Keep an eye on our Website and Facebook page for more information.
ESCHERICHIA COLI - FRIEND OR ENEMY?
 
Escherichia coli are part of the normal intestinal microflora in the gastrointestinal tract of both humans and animals. However, certain E. coli strains can cause gastrointestinal disease. Molecular detection of pathogenicity genes by PCR has revealed enteropathic strains in dogs and cats, which are indistinguishable from harmless E. coli by normal faecal culture. These enteropathic forms of E. coli (enteropathogenic – EPEC, verotoxigenic – VTEC, enterohaemorrhagic – EHEC, enterotoxigenic – ETEC, enteroaggregative - EAggEC) may all cause acute gastrointestinal disease, but properties such as adherence to the mucosal surface by EPEC can also predispose to chronic disease. BattLab offers this PCR testing to all its clients. This is run on weekly basis and requires a fresh faecal sample from the animal to be sent to the laboratory.

Treatment of enteropathic E.coli should be considered for positive cases with severe acute, or persistent signs of gastrointestinal disease. Choice of antibiotic should be based on sensitivity testing and may be supported by administration of an oral autologous E.coli vaccine which can be produced by BattLab on request from the E.coli cultured from the previously submitted faecal sample.

Our internal follow up study (Roger Batt, 2011, personal communication) of 89 dogs with persistent signs of gastrointestinal disease, showed a distinct or considerable response to treatment in more than 70% of cases, including a subgroup of 38 dogs, which were EPEC positive.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us
 
FAQs about HISTOPATHOLOGY
 
WHAT CAN HISTOPATHOLOGY TELL US?
Disease processes affect tissues in distinctive ways, which depend on the type of tissue, the disease itself and how this has progressed. Histopathology, the study of tissues affected by disease, is very useful in making a diagnosis and in determining the severity and progression of a condition. Specifically, in clinical medicine, histopathology refers to the examination of a biopsy or surgical specimen by a pathologist, after the specimen has been processed and histological sections have been placed onto glass slides.
 
WHY DO I NEED HISTOPATHOLOGY IF THERE IS CYTOLOGY AVAILABLE?
Cytology is an important diagnostic tool, but cannot substitute for histopathological examination. Although there are clear advantages to cytology (relatively easy collection of the samples, low costs, fast turnaround time), in the great majority of cases histopathology is needed to reach a definitive diagnosis and to evaluate other important details regarding the lesion. For example, a diagnosis of canine cutaneous mast cell tumour is usually straightforward on cytology. As the next step, histopathology will provide details regarding architecture of the tumour, invasiveness in the deeper layers, number of mitoses, and completeness of excision. This data will be further used to formulate a prognosis and decide the best treatment option. This is how cytology and histopathology together become important diagnostic tools that provide rapid and accurate diagnosis.
 
WHAT ARE THE SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS?
The samples should be immersed in fixative solution as soon as possible. If fixative solution is not readily available, the sample should be refrigerated (0-4⁰C), but not frozen. Although there are many types of fixative, most specimens are fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin. The optimum formalin-to-specimen volume ratio should be at least 10:1. Formalin containers should be capped and leak-proof, and labelled correctly. Wherever possible, the whole sample should be submitted in formalin. If the tissue is large, then it may be more appropriate to submit representative sections. For instance, when sampling splenic masses, which are often very large, it is possible to send a number of representative portions from the periphery of the mass, avoiding areas of haemorrhage or necrosis. Ideally, samples should not be thicker than 10mm. And please remember to fill out the submission form.
 
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE RESULTS?
Here, at Battlab, the turnaround time is 3-4 days. Keep in mind that some specimens need additional processing, such as decalcification of bone biopsies, which can add to the duration. 
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This will keep you updated of what we are doing, let you share our experiences and learn more about us and our future projects and collaborations.
Yours sincerely,
The BattLab team
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